The Public Guardian serves as the Court appointed Conservator for adults who are determined to be gravely disabled due to a mental or medical illness and, as a result are unable to provide for their own basic needs. There are two types of Conservatorships; Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorships and Probate Conservatorships. LPS Conservatorships are established for individuals who are determined gravely disabled as a result of mental illness. The Public Guardian works in partnership with Lake County Mental Health for all LPS Conservatorships. An LPS Conservatorship lasts for one year; if necessary, the Public Guardian can petition the Court to renew the conservatorship. Probate Conservatorships are established for individuals determined gravely disabled as a result of a medical illness. The Public Guardian is generally appointed as conservator when there are no family members who are willing or able to be appointed. A conservator may be responsible for the estate, the person, or both the estate and the person.
In order to establish a conservatorship, the Public Guardian must investigate and document the reasons necessitating the conservatorship, obtain the necessary petitions and prove the case in court. Once a Probate Conservatorship is established, it will remain in effect until the Conservatee proves to the court that the Conservatorship is not necessary.